September 23, 2022

Chaotic Mix: quest?onmarq

Words by
Henry Ivry
Featured Artists
In this article

For this season’s Minted Chaos theme, Refraction asked four DJs who have a creative relationship to chaos to explore its full spectrum in their mixes—both from a selection and technique standpoint—and to reflect on how chaos relates to their practice.

From the second you hit play on quest?onmarq's Chaotic Mix, the chaos part feels literal. The percussion on Will Guthrie's "Geni Tirta" sounds like it's trying to break out of the stereo as it slips in and out of time. Just when it feels like the mix can't hold any more drum lines, Energie Noire's easy listening jazz slides, quickly overtaken by the droning beauty of “exp_fold” by pent. If that feels like a lot to wrap your head around, consider that it's only the first five minutes of this mix.

"Controlled chaos is a key element in my practice," the New York producer and DJ explains. Given Refraction's briefing, they decided to take this idea to its tipping point. "In this mix, things get dialed up a notch. While spiraling, time seemed to go much slower while recording!" 

Split into three acts that cover what quest?onmarq calls the "complete spectrum of chaotic good, neutral and evil," the mixing is textural and fast. It's less concerned with creating a seamless blend than telling a narrative. To get a sense of this, listen to how they change gears between acts. After a run of jungle tracks, the last breakbeat of the "Chaotic Good" is swallowed up by the industrial sludge of Indonesian duo Raja Kirik's "Bujang Ganong” to signal that we have indeed entered darker territory. Even more dramatically, quest?onmarq moves between "Chaotic Neutral" and the mix's final "Chaotic Evil" section by fully resetting with field recordings of water.

Water, quest?onmarq explains, plays a similar role to chaos in their art. "One of the transitory points between themes [is] marked by flowing water. These are recordings from years back. I swear, in that moment, I was fascinated by the chaotic potential of water." Chaos, similar to water, they continue, "is the key of life, but under the right set of influences [water] can destroy cities." Both violence and growth co-exist in a mix as chaotic as it is beautiful.



Chaotic Good:

“Geni Tirta” - Will Guthrie

“Wrath Sabbath” - Energie Noire

“exp_fold” - pent

“Lemon Day” - Nils Frahm

“Science of Dust” - HHY and The Kampala Unit

“Neurasthenia” - B E N N

“Take Me Up Remix” - DJ Phantasy & Aphrodite

“Tokyo Dawn” - Doc Scott

“Atlantis” - LTJ Bukem

“take u there” - Bell Curve

Chaotic Neutral:

“Bujang Ganong” - Raja Kirik

“Spiral” - Artilect

“Sakata” - Authentically Plastic

“Unsuccessful attempt at tryin 3” - Anthems for Unsuccessful Winners

“Soft Injection” - Avbvrn

“Rising” - Ruins

“Pyroclasts C#” - Sunn O)))

“365” - Bloodz Boi 血男孩, Quit Life

“River Sounds (Yosemite 2017)” - Field Recording

“River Sounds (Yosemite 2017)” - Field Recording

“Presence” - ???

Chaotic Evil:

“Church of Herrmann” - The Lord

“Dis” - Avbvrn

“Automaton Clock” - Torn

“Drum Track” - Arnaud Krakowka

“Orthodox Caveman” - Sunn O)))

“Aghartha (quest?onmarq Remix)” - Sunn O)))

“Ixoshi” - Slikback x Exploited Body

“Tanah Prahara” - Raja Kirik

“Skin Tight” - Slikback x Van Boom

“Kerokerosene” - Vibrisse

“To Fall Into The Pit” - Teya Logos

“Walk With Me In Hell” - Klereherriekrew

“Drag” - Civilian Camo

“Lionsblood” - Duma



Amorphous and adaptable, quest?onmarq is a sonic and physical shapeshifter channeling sounds from all corners of the global underground.

When guiding the vibration of the room, the ‘spiral effect’ takes place — a collective state of inhibitory submission by way of frequency manipulation often in the form of genre defiant DJ set performances that incorporate turntablism, sharp technical prowess and their own productions and remixes. They can be heard monthly as a bi-monthly fixture presenting mixes and guest features on Paris’ arm of Rinse.FM as well as a monthly resident, producing audio-visual mixes on New York’s The Lot Radio.





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